The Social Security Administration has just released wage statistics for 2013, and the numbers are startling. Last year, 50 percent of all American workers made less than $28,031, and 39 percent of all American workers made less than $20,000. We are witnessing the slow-motion destruction of the middle class, and very few of our leaders seem to care.
Over the last few weeks, the markets have seen wild vacillations as stocks plunged and then surged on a massive short-squeeze in the most beaten up sectors of energy and small-mid capitalization companies. While "Ebola" fears filled mainstream headlines the other driver behind the sell-off, and then marked recovery, was a variety of rhetoric surrounding the last vestiges of the current quantitative easing program by the Fed. “You will know that the financial markets have reached peak instability and volatility when Britney Spears rings the opening bell.”
The investment world is counting on China and the US to drive global GDP growth next year. Unfortunately it's banking on a false assumption.
Recapping the tenets we presented here, here, and here, once an economy is subjected to a bout of monetary inflation, whether that be via direct central bank money creation or via money (and credit) creation by the fractional reserve banking system, an unsustainable, artificial economic boom is born, whereby malinvestments (bubbles if you like) are created that sooner or later must be liquidated. And whether that bust takes the form of a hyperinflationary bust or a deflationary bust, bust we will get.
Instead of a global recovery, a sudden, broad consumer slowdown – with a plunge in China.
DRAGHI CALLS FOR STIMULUS: CNBC
DRAGHI SAYS JOINT EFFORT NEEDED TO AVOID RECESSION: CNBC
DRAGHI SAYS INFLATION TO REMAIN LOW IN THE NEAR TERM
Albert Edwards is angry, and understandably so: almost exactly two weeks after warning readers to "sell everything and run for your lives" and the market was on the verge of its first correction in years, several powerful verbal interventions by central banks from the Fed, to the BOJ to the ECB have staged yet another massive rebound which has nearly wiped out all the October losses. Central-planning aside (and ask how much the USSR would have wished for central planning to indeed have been "aside") we share his frustrations, almost to the point where we would reiterate word for word Edwards' furious outburst, as follows: "Simply put, the central banks for all their huffing and puffing cannot eliminate the business cycle. And they should have realised after the 2008 Great Recession that the longer they suppress volatility, both economic and market, the greater the subsequent crash. Will these morons ever learn?"
"I believe that the Last Great Bubble is bursting — faith in central banks to solve all problems."
Why would one even look at a self-reported survey as an indicator of coincident activity: after all isn't it beyond obvious that every response will be full of confirmation bias and colored by the respondent's inherent optimism about the present and the future? Apparently it isn't, and neither is it obvious that for all business participants, hope dies last, something which always influences their responses. The problem is that in a world in which central banks have made a mockery of all other coincident signals, one has to dig very low. "We've used this measure less over the last couple of years as central banks have increasingly distorted the relationship between fundamentals and valuation" says Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid. And as Jim Reid shows in the table below, the various regional PMIs have so consistenly overshot in their expectations of where the manufacturing and service sector of a given country is throughout 2014, that not even the market believes, well, Markit.
What do an old German bank note, a current $100 bill, and an apple all have in common? The answer, according to ConvergEx's Nick Colas, is that these simple objects can tell us much about the current investment scene, ranging from Europe’s economic challenges to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s attempts to reduce unemployment. Colas takes an “object-ive” approach to analyzing the current investment landscape by describing 10 common items and how they shape our perceptions of reality. The other objects on our list: a hazmat suit, a house in Orlando, a barrel of oil, a Rolex watch, a butterfly, a heating radiator in Berlin, and a smartphone.
Remember Europe's "austerity", or rather,as we dubbed it, fauxterity? Of course, how could you forget: after all everything that is wrong with Europe is blamed not on government corruption and the complete lack of reform, enabled so gloriously by Goldman's custodian of Europe's money printer who would do "whatever it takes" to mask Europe's sad reality that without reform the continent is doomed, but on the intolerable, insufferbale imposition of hated, loathed austerity on Europe's insolvent nations. After all, how on earth are they all supposed to get out of their debt-induced depressions if they have to, gasp, cut their debt! So yeah, we get the propaganda. What we don't get is whether everyone in Europe is completely incapable of reading simple numbers, is atrocious at math, or simply doesn't understand the definition of austerity.
Moments ago, CAT, which is a major DJIA component, just reported blowaway EPS of $1.72, far above the $1.35 expected. How did it achieve this stunning number which has pushed DJIA futures higher by almost half a percent? Simple: first there was the usual exclusions, with "restructuring costs" adding back some $0.09 to the bottom line number. But the punchline was this: "In addition to the profit improvement, we have a strong balance sheet and through the first nine months of the year, we've had good cash flow. So far this year, we've returned value to our stockholders by repurchasing $4.2 billion of Caterpillar stock and raising our quarterly dividend by 17 percent," Oberhelman said." And here is just how the surge in buyback activity looked in comparison to Q3 2013...
Futures Bounce On Stronger Europe Headline PMIs Despite Markit's Warning Of "Darker Picture" In "Anaemic" InternalsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/23/2014 06:59 -0400
Perhaps the most interesting question from late yesterday is just how did the Chinese PMI rebound from 50.4 to 50.2, when the bulk of its most important forward-looking components, New Orders, Output, New Export Orders, posted a material deterioration? When asked, not even Markit could provide an explanation that seemed remotely reasonable so we can only assume the headline was goalseeked purely for the kneejerk reaction benefit of various algos that only focus on the headline and nothing else. Luckily, we didn't have much time to ponder this quandary as a few hours later we got the latest batch of Eurozone PMI numbers.
The trend of average U.S. citizens being incarcerated by overzealous judges and prosecutors within the police state formerly known as America continues with reckless abandon.
The seemingly insatiable appetite of the growing Indian middle class for gold is causing the government in India to again consider imposing sanctions on the importing of gold.